'All are in clear and present danger in Maldives'

ANI | Updated: Feb 06, 2018 22:18 IST

Male [Maldives], Feb. 06 (ANI): One of the 12 MPs disqualified from the Parliament by the Election Commission in the Maldives, Abdulla Sinan, has recently returned back to the Maldives from eight-month exile. His return comes at a time when the country is in a state of emergency after President Abdulla Yameen refused to obey Supreme Court's order to release jailed opposition leaders from prison.

In an exclusive interview to ANI, Sinan gave his views on the current situation of the country, implications of the emergency and expectations from India.

Q1: The Maldives has been facing a political unrest for the past few years. It recently took an ugly turn after the Supreme Court verdict. How do you see the present situation in the island nation?

-Presently all are in clear (and) present danger. Basic human rights have been suspended. And we will not give up.

Q2: President Yameen continues to defy Supreme Court orders and using force to crush the judiciary. What will be its implications?

-His intention is to force Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Ali Hameed to resign. We will use his minority in Parliament to appoint new judges to Supreme Court Bench. But he does not have the required number to pass it. So he could manipulate everything as he wishes and the end result would be that we all will get a long jail term.

Q3. You are one of the 12 MPs who was disqualified by the Election Commission. Now, you are back in the Maldives after living in exile. Are you feeling relaxed after the apex court ruling?

-I am indeed not. According to late night information again President Yameen tried to get a warrant to arrest me but court at that time refused to do so. Now, I am in hiding. But, today again Yameen has amended the SOI decree by suspending all our basic rights like right to attorney and right to stay silent...etc

Q4. What is the solution to the unrest in the Maldives? How can other countries and institutions help to bring stability in the country? What are your expectations from India?

-As former President Nasheed said, it is vital Indian intervention at this stage. As a first step, India must send a senior diplomat here and request unconditionally to release all political prisoners mentioned in Supreme Court order and if not military intervention is the only option I see.

Yesterday, Former President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed and Judicial administrator Hassan Saeed were arrested by security forces, just hours after President Yameen declared a state of emergency in the country.

Yameen, who has been defying Supreme Court's orders, directing him to release former president Mohamed Nasheed, and free eight other political opponents from prison, has given sweeping powers to security forces in the country, which is facing widespread protests against the president.

The opposition and general public have been unrelentingly asking President Yameen to step down and allow a new leadership to take charge.

Abdulla Sinan was in Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and eight months ago quit from the party and joined Opposition reformers. He returned back to the Maldives on February 4 after living eight months in exile in Thailand. (ANI)

iocl